Romanian MEP, Adriana Ticau, talks about sources of funding for energy efficiency in buildings within World GBC Europe Network event in Brussles

October 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Posted in Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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Left to right: Steven Borncamp, Adriana Ticau, Anca Bieru, Bogdan Draganescu, Bogdan Atanasiu

On  the 21st of September, in Brussels, 15 Green Building Councils from different European countries celebrated World Green Building Weektogether with officials from the European Parliament and the European Commission [see a full report on the meeting’s outcome].  Among the key speakers, Romanian MEP Adriana Ticau addressed the audience highlighting the importance that recently adopted legislation such as EPBD 2 and the new measures included in the Roadmap for a Resource Efficient Europe have on strengthening the construction standards. Ms Ticau also talked about funding sources to ensure the high standards included in the legislation are met. As one of the well known supporters for higher level funding for energy efficiency in buildings she reminded the attendees about the opportunity for national governments to use up to 4% from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for energy efficient housing projects. Without spending that in 2007-2013 budgeting period it will be very difficult to negotiate higher shares from 2013 onwards.

According to the Regulation 397/2009 (that modifies the initial Regulation 1080/2006) the Member States can allocate up to 4% from the ERDF on projects for energy efficiency and use of renewable energy in existing housing. In the Regulation 1828/2006 (art 47.2) there are specified also the types of interventions that can be funded:

  • renovation of the common parts of multi-family residential buildings
  • delivery of modern social housing of good quality through renovation and change of use of existing buildings owned by public authorities or  non-profit organizations

The 4%  specific allocation for energy efficiency and RES in buildings should be added to the initial 2% allocation for housing that was available even before ; those combined could make possible an allocation for rehabilitation of low-income housing of 6% from the 9431 Mio EUR that were allocated to Romania from ERDF for the 2007-2013 period.

In Romania ERDF is one of the Structural Funds that is funding the priorities from the Regional Operational Program (ROP) and part of  the Economic Competitiveness Sectoral Operational Program. The Axis 1 from ROP vaguely makes a reference to the possibility for local public authorities to obtain funding for social housing projects, but only if these are previously included in the Integrated Urban Development Plans. Social housing is not specified clearly in the indicative list of potential activities but it is included as a performance indicator for the overall assesment of the ROP. So, with a bit of imagination, public authorities could fund this type of projects.  Unfortunately, from analyzing the list of projects that were financed so far  under Axis 1 from ROP, not even one is related to energy efficiency in residential buildings or  to delivering social housing.

In the Economic Competitiveness Program the situation is even more blurry because, even if there is a funding line for Improving the energy efficiency by the end-users (Measure 4.3),  project that would fund energy efficiency in the housing sector are not specificaly included.

Ministry of Regional Development and Ministry of Economy could re-negotiate the priorities and budget allocation in both programs (ROP and Economic Competitiveness) with the European Commission and include a very clear allocation for projects aiming at improving energy efficiency in social housing. Also – because there is no European wide definition of what “social housing” mean, the European Commission left it upon each Member State to define it according to their national set criteria. There are signs that some discussion around the topic already started between the Ministry of Development and European Commission, but we need to move quick to be able to  also implement some projects.

Anca Bieru

New European Energy Efficiency Fund was launched on 1st of July

July 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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The European Commission, European Investment Bank together with Deutsche Bank and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti have launched a 265 Mil EUR European Energy Efficiency Fund. The fund is targeted mostly for projects of the local or regional  public authorities, but was conceived as  a means of leveraging  private finance for efficiency projects, which might not otherwise offer high enough short-term returns to attract investors.

First projects that will be financed are likely to be public building renovations  in Italy. The Fund criteria could also  cover sustainable energy investments in combined heat and power systems, decentralised renewable energy sources, clean urban transport and infrastructure modernisation, from smart grids to street lights.

More details here.

Anca Bieru

Training for companies on how to apply for EU Funds

December 3, 2008 at 1:11 pm | Posted in General, Training | 2 Comments
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We have come across an interesting opportunity to get free consultancy and training in how to apply for EU Structural Funds. We’ve checked it out and can assure you there are no catches or hidden costs.  It comes from a Phare project at the Ministry of Finance which needs to help companies apply for these funds.

There will be two “INFO DAYS” held on the 9th and 11th of December and this would be a good opportunity to find out more.  If you’re interested you should follow the link below and fill in the application form.

The Structural Fund in question is called Increasing Economic Competitiveness and is designed to help Romanian companies become more competitive in the EU.  They do this by reimbursing companies with about 50% of agreed investments in productive or IT equipment, up to 5,560,000 RON, as well as associated costs such as dedicated buildings and training.

The fund is aimed at medium and large enterprises which are in profit and are planning to make investments in manufacturing (priority axis 1) or IT equipment (axis 2) or renewable energy and energy efficiency (axis 4).  Any sized company can apply for funds for IT equipment.  If you look on this website — http://amposcce.minind.ro/ — and see the left hand menu you can find out more about each axis.

The application process for the free consultancy and training (and INFO DAYS) is rather simple. All you need to do is log onto this website — http://www.ieca.ro/info.html — and fill in the questionnaire.  You can also see the training schedule there, and I know they’re planning some activities in December.  We spoke to one of the consultants working on this project and he said they’re looking for companies which have a well developed project idea, which they want to help develop into a complete SF application.

Anca

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